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I am such a proponent of realistic goal setting. Nothing in the world motivates me more than verbalizing my aspirations within a set time frame, and given that summertime is the designated season for fun and adventure (and for exciting soccer games– Go USA!), I’m all about celebrating my seasonal visions. I know it comes as a mystery since I very rarely talk about it (note the sarcasm), but my ultimate summer goal is not necessarily to win Miss Florida USA, although that’d be pretty baller. It’s to strut across that Miss Florida stage with the utmost confidence… in a swimsuit. Truth be told, since I’ve recovered from my gastric condition, I’ve had a less than easy time building my endurance and strength back up, and all I want is to be genuinely proud of my body again. I’m old enough to acknowledge that all panels are different; some judges will love me, and some may not take very kindly to me, and that’s okay. I do, however, care about how I feel about myself, hence the significance behind this little goal of mine.
In order to work towards a stronger body and more confident strut, I’ve gone back to the basics: old school beauty queen secret weapons doubling as healthy essentials available at Walgreens. These basic and seemingly boring products served me so well when I made the Top 10 in 2011, so I’m stickin’ to ’em. Here are my favorite secret beauty queen tips and essentials, along with their pageant princess capabilities:
1. Listerine Whitening Mouthwash
I must’ve brightened the enamel off of my teeth because I literally cannot use Whitestrips of any kind without enduring extreme sensitivity/borderline pain– not even the 5-minute sensitive line. I’ve tried a few variations from different oral hygiene companies, and ultimately the sensitivity still remains. The only consistent product that gives me immediate results without extreme discomfort is Listerine’s Whitening Mouthwash. Not only is it great for long term results, but I always take a swig of whitening rinse immediately before walking on stage. The formula literally paints a white film over you teeth, so the texture constantly reminds you to keep your smile wide and bright. The dramatic whitening results stay until you take your first drink of water, and it immediately enhances your smile, which boosts your confidence.
I actually carry around a travel-sized bottle in my purse, too, for after coffee/post meal situations. This stuff is a lifesaver, regardless of if you’re on stage or are just trying to look prim and proper at work or school.
2. Aveeno Stress Relief Moisturizing Lotion
I refuse to use tanning beds anymore. After a stint with junior Melanoma in high school and wrinkles at 21, I just can’t. Ergo, my only solution for impromptu bronzing is sunless tanner. I hate applying it myself, so I typically opt for airbrush or spray tans. Their technology does a decent job of evening out the color; however, if you don’t properly moisturize afterwards, you’re going to have a nice little leper situation on your hands. Aveeno is the only lotion I trust post spray tan, since it keeps my skin smooth, soft, and even. You can buy after-tan products, but they always end up irritating my legs and creating a lovely sticky residue with a distinct after-tan smell.
Additionally, I always lather on a few layers on my legs prior to swimsuit. It literally makes them glisten, and the Stress Relief scent, which smells like a euphoric mixture of lavender and chamomile, actually calms my nerves. Also, smelling like a princess never hurts, especially when the airbrush formula itself radiates a nice wet dog fragrance.
Aside from being my favorite first aid antibiotic ointment, Neosporin is also my favorite emergency acne remedy. When I get stressed, ie right around pageant day, I tend to develop painful cystic acne, and there’s no way to pop them– even if popping pimples wasn’t a horrible idea. I dab on some Neosporin, and the formula almost instantly reduces the size, soreness, and inflammation. It’s saved my tush on multiple occasions, and I swear by this stuff!
4. Tylenol PM
I won’t sugar coat it… Miss Florida week is stressful. Stress, for me, equals insomnia, which of course, equals more anxiety. Any way you look at it, it’s not good, and headaches ensue on a regular basis. I carry Tylenol and Tylenol PM with me everywhere I go for unexpected headaches, and at night, the PM version is a life saver. It’s just a nice safety net to have in case a migraine decides to creep up and rain on your princess parade.
And there you have it! These are my secret beauty queen weapons… and the best part is that they’re all every day products available at Walgreens! This summer if you use your Balance Rewards card, you’ll earn 3,000 points when you buy select $15 Johnson & Johnson products from brands like AVEENO®, BAND-AID®, LISTERINE®, NEOSPORIN®, NEUTROGENA®, TYLENOL®, and ZYRTEC®. Just look for this fancy pants Walgreens end-cap in select stores across the country to see what other products are eligible for reward credits!
What goals will you be celebrating this summer? Also, who has other beauty queen secret weapons I’m missing? Do tell! With the new Miss USA crowned last night (post to come!), I’m more motivated than EVER to continue pushing towards my goal, and any innovative tips or tricks would be greatly appreciated!